COMMISSIONER, COMMERCIAL TAX Vs. SHIV SHAKTI TRADERS
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
COMMISSIONER, COMMERCIAL TAX
Shiv Shakti Traders
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(1.) In the instant case, without issuing any notice upon the respondent, the revisionist obtained an order condoning the delay in preferring the revision application. That order, being non est in law, the same is recalled. There has been 301 days' delay in preferring the appeal and, accordingly, an application (CLMA No. 3946 of 2009) for condonation of delay has been filed. We have considered the averments made therein. We do not find any reason, far less any cogent reason, for committing 301 days' delay. The fact remains that while exercising power of imposing and, thereupon, to quantity penalty, the assessing officer gave reasons to support exercise of power, but did not utter a single word, why it was imposing the highest penalty awardable under the law. The law prescribes the maximum penalty, which can be imposed. It does not say that in all cases, the maximum penalty must be imposed, unless lesser is justified by the assessee. In other words, it was obligatory on the part of the assessing officer to state the reasons, why he is exercising his discretion of imposing highest penalty permissible. He did not utter a single word in support thereof. First appellate authority refused to interfere and the Tribunal reduced the quantum of the penalty. It is surprising, now the Department is asking reasons in support of the reduction. Having regard to the fact that the original order per se is not tenable, inasmuch as, no one can be fastened with a liability which is civil in nature, even though authorized to fasten such liability, without reasons in support thereof. We, accordingly, dismiss the application for condonation of delay. Consequentially, the revision fails and the same is also dismissed.;
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